Dundalk bridged a 24-year gap since their last success in the Newstalk sponsored Provincial Towns Cup to emerge victorious with a 35-20 win after a titanic struggle with Tullamore before a big crowd in Edenderry Rugby Club this afternoon…

Fighting back from an early 10-0 deficit the county Louth side finished the stronger turning a topsy-turvy tight contest into a convincing 15-point win with a rush of late tries.

It looked good for Tullamore early on when lock forward Dave Hanlon scored a third minute try that winger Mark Whelan converted from the left touchline and he then added a penalty goal four minutes later to reward the county Offaly side for their whirlwind start.

Dundalk gradually worked their way back into the game but had to wait until the 26th minute for out half John Dodd to land their opening score with a penalty goal. The pivot then scored his side’s first try nine minutes later before nudging his team in front for the first time with the last kick of the first half, a penalty goal that made it 11-10 in favour of Dundalk at the break.

Dodd dropped a goal two minutes after the resumption but just as the north east club seemed to be taking control Tullamore struck back through veteran centre Ivor Scully’s 46th minute try under the posts that replacement out half Johnny Moloney converted.

We then had to wait until the 68th minute for what turned out to be the crucial score as man of the match, Dundalk full back Steven McGee forced his way over for the touchdown that Dodd converted.

Moloney rewarded his side after they’d applied intense pressure with a 77th minute penalty goal that reduced the margin to the minimum before winger Stephen Murphy ensured the 24-year gap was going to be bridged with a try two minutes later.

Dodd converted before intercepting a Tullamore move in his own half in injury time and outpacing the chasing posse to score under the posts and his conversion was the last action of a pulsating contest.